More pessimistic state revenue estimates released this week could breathe new life into tobacco and alcohol tax increases that lawmakers thus far had ignored.
The state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group said Monday that Kansas should expect to collect about $5.71 billion in taxes in the fiscal year that begins July 1. That’s almost $100 million less than the group of economic experts estimated in November, making a difficult budget puzzle even more vexing for legislators.
The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network quickly seized on the new projections as evidence legislators should increase the tobacco tax.
“Making tobacco significantly more expensive is a powerful economic tool that will save lives and cut health care costs while also addressing Kansas’ budget shortfall,” said Reagan Cussimanio, the group’s government relations director in Kansas.